Friday, June 29, 2012

"THANK YOU" to USk Blog group and Jason Das

Tagaris Winery, one of the more upscale spots here in the Tri-Cities.  Sketched a while back and used here as a test image for the USk Blog

Thanks to the crew at "adminsusk" and especially Jason Das for helping identify the problem we were having with our blog not showing updates on the USk Blog page.  We were stuck way down near the bottom of the listing with a comment that said we had updated last over a month ago.  I knew that wasn't the case, so I went looking for assistance when I exhausted all my technical skills ... it didn't take long to get there either. 

Anayway we are back in business with the USK Blog and, again, much appreciation to the "adminusk" group and in particular, again, JASON DAS!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

USkTC artist Ashby Lands Coffee Card Deal

Hello..  tho I haven't done a lot of going out and doing some sketching I thought I would share this with you. Last year sometime, Jim and Dave and I went out and did sketches of a couple of coffee drive thru buildings. One we did was Nikki Jeans out on Clearwater where the Shell station and the roundabout are. Well it now has new owner and is called Badger Canyon Coffee. So when this gal came into the print shop to order punch cards, I thought HEY wait a minute I have a drawing of this already. SO when she looked at the proof she loved it, and I showed her the original. SO now that little drawing of mine is on the punch cards.

Not the best drawing, even by me, but I thought this would be cute to show off :)
Greg Ashby

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summertime Fun

Summertime Fun by jimbmgarner
Summertime Fun, a photo by jimbmgarner on Flickr.
Stopped by the Dairy Queen on Gage to capture some of the folks looking for burgers, ice cream, and floats on this slightly warm day. Summer's back ... sorta.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lunch: Roast Beef Sammies, Tortellini Pasta, and Smoothies

Lunch: Smoothie and San by jimbmgarner
Lunch: Smoothie and San, a photo by jimbmgarner on Flickr.
So here it is June 26th and while the rest of the country is sweltering under the blistering sun, we are holding steady in the upper sixties and it is raining.

So, rather than head out into the wet, cold, dreary urban settings to find something to draw, a fire is going in the fireplace, some soft Brazilian Jazz is playing somewhere in the house and I'm watercoloring this little sketch I did at lunch right here in front of the fire.

What a great day.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

sketching for scavengers---a mailbox

I found a mailbox in our neighborhood interesting,so I sketched it for the scavengers.

sketching for scavengers---a bench at park

Again I walked to Leslie Groves Park in Richland,looking for things to sketch. It seems like more benches have been donated to parks in Richland,and the city likes color blue for its new additions.The new drinking fountains are colored blue also.

UPDATE: Sketchers for Scavengers - a car

Found this cool looking yellow hot rod at the "Cool Desert Nights" car show in Richland.

"Cool Desert Nights" car show in Richland

Drove over to Richland to check out the car show and found this "blower" sticking through the hood of a, I think, '32 Ford.


Hedges Winery: from my archives

About a year ago, Dave and I went out to Red Mountain to see what we could find to sketch and came upon Hedges, for me, the first time.  I sat at the end of this walkway, on the edge of a single lane roundabout lined with grape plants and lavendar plants and sketch this view of the building.  A copy of this sold at our show last year at Cheese Louise in Richland.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hedges Winery: Front Door

A card sketch of Hedges Winery front door.

Jim at Hedges

This is Jim drawing the front of the building (with the fountain) - see the great landscaping!  We were privy to a glass of their Reserve Merlot as we sat, sipped and drew.  Whew!


Jim, Dave and I met up out at Hedges Winery this morning and sat outside under some beautiful shade trees to draw the gorgeous architecture and mature, elegant plantings.  Debbie Culverhouse invited us to tour the organic garden, walk over the carved, metal bridge and gave us pretty much free rein of the grounds.  There is this great fountain in front of the building...

Hedges Winery june 12

Hedges Winery june 12 by jimbmgarner
Hedges Winery june 12, a photo by jimbmgarner on Flickr.
We had a fun time this morning at Hedges Winery, and thanks to Nancy Thurston for two things: first for setting this outing up with Debra at the winery; and two for teaching me a few new tricks with this particular sketch.   

Hedges Winery june 12

Hedges Winery june 12 by jimbmgarner

Hedges Winery june 12, a photo by jimbmgarner on Flickr.
Thanks to Nancy for setting this sketchouting up with the Debra out at Hedges Winery. We love this place.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Twigs Bistro and Wine Bar"

The Columbia Center Mall is by far the largest mall in our region.  It was built in the late '70's and completely changed the landscape of all three major businesses in our three cities.  This is the "Twig Bistro and Wine Bar" situated on the outer periphery of the mall.  It was the umbrellas that caught my eye, so I had to give it a try. 

I remember coming back from Europe the summer of '70 thinking about how cool it was there to have all those outside cafes with sidewalk umbrellas and how I wished we had them here.  They're everywhere nowdays.  Is that progress?  Maybe so.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"UPDATE: Sketching for Scavengers - Umbrella"

In case you missed it, we announced a "Sketching for Scavengers" challenge a few weeks back.  To read about the challenge, click here.

This is my first entry for the challenge and I hope some of the other members will join Jean, Yichien, and me in the fun.

Here's my first entry, an image from the strip-mall across the parking lot in front of Carmike's Theatres;  and don't forget Hedges Winery this Friday!!


I spoke with Debra Culverhouse at Hedges Winery and set up an appointment with her this Friday, June 22nd, at 10:00 to have a tour of the winery.  I called to set up a time to meet there in the evenings with our group and draw but evenings other than Saturday and Sunday would be difficult as they aren't open and have a lot of private things going on.  She was very interested in promoting our group and letting people know we were going to be there drawing but I told her we might want to be a bit more casual about it at first before we start inviting people to watch!  As we talked about drawing possibilities she mentioned an organic garden and was very excited to show us around.

Please join the Tri-City Urban Sketchers at Hedges Winery this Friday at 10:00 am for a short tour of this beautiful area and then stay as long as you'd like to do some drawing!  This time, at least, there will be no gallery of observers...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Fans Enjoying Fourth Annual Slugfest"

It has become the Annual Father's Day Slugfest where over 3,800 players, coaches and spectators from all over the Pacific Northwest gather to "Play Ball." 

The event is multi-layered in terms of purpose: young kids, mostly boys, are given the opportunity to get their fill of baseball (my grandson Aidan played in a total of Five games yesterday and today); it provides family fun on Father's Day for "lots" of families, and it brings in lots of "cash" to the TriCities.

"According to the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, the Slugfest will generate an estimated $1,077,300 in direct visitor spending in the Tri-Cities." Tri City Herald, June 17, 2012. 

Read more here:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

a birdfeeder

My husband,James,enjoys watching birds in the backyard,but he does not like squirrels getting the bird food. He has built several bird feeders with various designs,trying to outsmart those pesky squirrels. This one is my favorite,with a water basin underneath.

favorite corner

This is my favorite corner in the garden.There were beautiful bleeding heart blossom in the spring,but I also love their hansome leaves. I've now planted several pots of herbs & annuals with those bleeding heart plant leaves in the background. I tried to simplify the picture with just two pots of herbs here.

dinner time

I went to Leslie Groves Park after dinner yesterday,and came upon this scene. There were numerous flocks of seagulls skimming the water surface on Columbia River feeding on small fish. I was able to sketch just a few;they moved way too fast.

Friday, June 15, 2012

No vines at all!

This was the first drawing.  No vineyards - I just liked this old truck...

Red Mountain, continued...

Here are my drawings.  MAN - you guys missed a gorgeous day and some gorgeous views - and all in our own backyard!   Here are 2 drawings of actual grape vines - the first was actually the second of the day and the second one, actually the last, is just a bit more playful and stylized.  Jim started it - paint first THEN draw...

"Red Mountain"

Nancy Thurston and I met at the artspace this morning at 9am and promptly decided not to go to Walla Walla.  It's a two hour drive pretty much both ways, and while there are gorgeous vistas, landscapes, architecture and people there to sketch, we figured we have most of those things right here in the TriCity area.  So we went out to Red Mountain, one of the most highly regarded terriors in the nation. 

My first contribution is this, looking along this line of posts and supports, down at the far trees and Mt. Adams in the far distance.  I know the sky is lighter toward the horizon line, but I like the contrast that a dark clouded sky brings to a scene.  So there. 


The one below was the most fun of the two because Nancy loaned me a big ol' brush to work with.  The first thing I did was use a pencil to sketch in where, in general, the poles, vines, and hills in the far distance would be located; then I splashed the paint on and once dried, added the pen lines.  I gotta start carrying one of my large brushes along on these sketchouts.

We decided we're going back.  Next time to Hedges Winery where a low, after-dinner-hour, sun will provide some amazing lighting.  Watch for the announcement for time and place here and on our FB page.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Big Crane on Gage Blvd"

According to our local newspaper, only one other community in the country is growing more rapidly than the Tri-Cities. It may be true since there is a substantial amount of construction happening here, now.

Driving up Gage Boulevard this morning I spotted this big crane just across the street from the Bone Fish Grill, so I pulled into the parking lot and sketched it out.  Looks like another large building is going up.

Monday, June 11, 2012

40% OFF Sketchbooks!

Hobby Lobby's sketchbooks (watercolor too) are all 40% off this week!  I bought 2 smaller ones for our outings - 1 was $1.20 and one was $2.00!  Heck of a deal!

New Shapes & WW

Worked on that big white space in the upper left hand corner - could be called a 'cloud' but we mustn't paint nouns, only dark and light.

Anyone want to try Walla Walla again on Friday?  Meet at the Artspace at 9 and we'll cross our fingers for some gorgeous weather!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Escape Door"

St. Joseph's Catholic Parish and School
Kennewick, WA
After my lunch meeting yesterday, I drove downtown Kennewick and happened by the old Catholic Church on Fruitland Street.  They have a nice statue of Christ on the Cross in the side yard and I've thought about sketching it a few times, so I pulled into the parking lot to see what I could see. 

Studying the architecture of this side-door, the memories flooded my mind of how, when I was a young boy scout in Kennewick the scout meetings were held in the basement of the church - on the same night of the week that the high school across the street held an open-gym.  Me and my little band of scalawags decided we would much rather go to open-gym than the scout meeting, so through this door we would escape. 

After multiple times of escaping through this door, then of course returning just as the meetings closed, we were told we didn't need to come back.  Yep, we were Kicked Out of the Boy Scouts.   

Funny thing is while I was sketching this, there was a group of scouts meeting in this very parking lot.  They had their back packs and were off on some kind of adventure. 

Burgandy Landscape

Here is another France landscape in bright, bright colors...

White Cows in France

Yesterday I was supposed to head to Walla Walla with the Plein Air Painters of Washington but I chickened out because of the weather and stayed home.  I am too old to sit outside in the cold and the wind and the rain.  So instead I stayed home and painted from the photos from France.  This is just a little sketch in my field sketch book.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Richland Farmers' Market

I went to Richland's Farmers' Market to get some fresh produce this morning. The weather was gorgeous,and with a couple of musicians performing, I simply didn't want to leave.I stayed near the water fountains and sketched this one.
The proportion was not quite right,so the fountain pool looked more like a bathtub;I'll do better next time.

World Wide Sketchcrawl 2011 - Penang, Malaysia

Just found this video this morning of a group of Urban Sketchers in Penang, Malaysia, enjoying one of the WWSk Crawls in 2011.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I finally contacted the person in charge and she sent me an itinerary that is 6 pages long!  It appears that they are showing all kinds of locations to paint in Dayton and Walla Walla both in the morning and the afternoon so everyone will pretty much be spread out all over.  Contact me at and I'll forward you the itinerary if you'd like but I still plan on leaving the 509Artspace parking lot at 9 to head over there.  I won't go so far as Dayton but will locate one of these points to paint on her itinerary for Friday.  If the weather is rainy, I most likely won't go - to give you a heads up!  I would like to drive myself as I'd like to stay and have dinner with my friend from the France workshop but I think it would be most fun to go as a group and draw like we've done in the past.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Walla Walla!

One of the woman on this France trip is from Olympia and she sent me a link to the "Plein Air Painters of WA," click the image below to see their website:

Joyce C. Crain, member Plein Air Artists Washington
They plan to be in Walla Walla June 6-10 but it looks like they haven't got a plan yet as to where and when on each day.  I would like to head to Walla Walla on Friday to draw and paint with them if anyone else wants to head over.  I think it would be fun to get to know painters from other areas - it looks like they've got a schedule all over the state for the remainder of the year.  I don't think I'll bring all my oil painting stuff - just my regular sketching stuff, though I may bring a larger tablet of paper to do some nicer, bigger finished pieces.  I'd like to attempt to turn this loose sketching/washes into a fine art and not just a comic illustration because I am truly enjoying doing it and it is a whole lot less stressful than the formal oil painting!

Corvette Club Convention

Corvette Club Convention by jimbmgarner
Corvette Club Convention, a photo by jimbmgarner on Flickr.
I don't want to "hog" the space at USkTc, but I also wanted to share my 4th attempt at this car. The first is posted below.  This one is closer to what I wanted to achieve in the first place, one to emphasize the sexy backside of this machine by exagerting it a bit and two, to create a loose sketch. 

Note this sketch was posted directly from my flickr account (see caption).  This can be done from personal blogs, flickr accounts, etc. All one has to do is find the little FB icon, click it, be sure you input "urban sketchers...." in (it will find it for you), add a few words and click ok. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

James at work

James always enjoys good food and wine, and now he also enjoys cooking.

Hanford Buses

I've seen these two buses parked in front of CREHST Museum for a long period of time; I finally decided to sketch them. The receptionist at the museum told me these are 1951 GM model of Hanford buses.
While I worked on the sketch,these two gulls wanted me out of their way,instead I put them in.

Art Show at Corvette Show June 2nd 2012

Well I did a sketch painting today at the Corvette Show at Columbia Park. And to prove my being different than even fellow artists I sketched NOT the beautiful and cool Corvettes. I sketched the art show going on with Cyber 509 Artists. I had fun, it's real loose painting sketch. It's not a good photo. I probably should tack it to wall then shoot.
Greg Ashby

my first sketch of car...corvette

I had not sketched any car in the past,how lucky my first one is a corvette!

I warmed up with the sno cone hut,then slowly made this corvette sketch.

Third Annual Corvette Show at Columbia Park!

So what is there to draw at a Corvette show?  A guy actually paid me $10 to draw his yellow one - didn't think to take a photo before handing it over but the Iced Caramel Macchiato was sure tasty!

"Corvette Club in the Park"

The Corvette Club met today in the Columbia Park, Kennewick, Wa., so the USkTC group when down to see what was going on and to do some recording of the event in our sketchbooks.  There was over 130 Corvettes there along with lots of vendors and come noon, some mighty fine smelling foods were wafting through the crowd.  I went to Blimpie's and had a ham and cheese.   

I'm not happy with either of these other than to say that I took Nancy's lead and drove to Hobby Lobby to purchase a sketchbook like hers.  It's a Strathmore, 5.5 in. x 8 in., 140 lb watercolor sketchbook and it really takes color much better than what I've been using. 

It's too bad "wonkiness" isn't looked upon in a favorable light.  Both of these sketches are in possession of plenty of it.